Welcome back to the home of Weird, Wild, & Wicked Tales. Today is the first Thursday of #NaNoWriMo and that means it’s time to start flashing for word count. We’ve reached our Seventh year of weekly prompts! This is Week 387 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? Check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook and the Group on MeWe.
Need the rules? Read on.
Here’s how it works:
- The prompt is a line from the previous week’s winning tale.
- The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
- The prompt must be used as is. It can be split, but no intervening words can be inserted or tenses changed.
Rules to the Game:
- This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
- The story must be new writing, not a snippet from something published elsewhere with the prompt added.
- Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
- Post your story in the comments section of this post
- Include your word count in the post (or be excluded from judging)
- Include your Twitter handle or email in the post (so we don’t have to look for you)
- The challenge is open 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time
- The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.
How it benefits you:
- You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we’re all about promotion – you know you are!)
- You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
- Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Google Plus, etc.
Our Judge for Week 387:
Computer geek, bass player, historical reenactor, and flashfiction writer, Mary Decker.
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.
“I suppose what you need to know.”
All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!
16 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 387”
Walking in the Rain, by Terry Brewer, @Stories2121, 244 words
It was magic. An ordinary Thursday. One of the last days we’d have before the chill of late fall set in, a final chance to stroll home from work. I left early, and the sun was still up. After winding my way up Fifth, I entered the Park, lost in my own little world.
As I reached the Sheep Meadow, I felt a gust and saw fast-moving clouds. Soon the torrent was upon me, thunder echoing off the buildings on Central Park West. I was too far from my apartment to make a dash for it so I was resigned to being doused.
Suddenly I felt an arm. “Come on. My place is right here.” He directed me to one of the apartment buildings. In the lobby, he said he’d noticed me before and was looking for an excuse to speak to me.
“The rain. A biblical omen.” He smiled in the elevator.
I had a visceral desire to be with him. He suggested a shower and gave me a towel. “I have some stuff that should fit.” When I emerged in a robe, he cradled two glasses of wine. Eyes and a smile made for drowning.
I don’t know why, but I was interested, very interested in this man.
He handed me the wine.
“I suppose what you need to know,” I said, “is that I’ve never been with another man before.” He smiled. I knew I’d never be with another man again.
“Why can’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t say that. I said I can tell you only some of what she said.”
“And what the hell is that?”
“I suppose what you need to know.”
“That she thinks it’s best she doesn’t see you anymore and that you don’t try contacting her in any way.”
“Christ. What the hell did I do?”
“You’d have to ask her.”
“Yeah, and she’s not interested in having anything to do with me.”
“I don’t make the rules. I’m just the messenger.”
“Well, you can tell her ‘Message received’ I guess.”
“You really deserve better, someone who appreciates you for being you, your quirks, the way you rub your chest like that when you’re upset. Like right now.”
“And you notice these things?”
“As a matter of fact, yes.”
“I didn’t even notice.”
“Maybe you should rub your forehead like you do when you’re pondering something. Yeah, that.”
“Ohh! I… I never knew. I mean…you’ve always been there for me. And now that you mention it…”
“Why don’t you run off and do a little more rubbing and I’ll call you later.”
“Yeah, I think I’d like that. Okay, talk to you later, Elise.”
“Now to call poor Cody. Here we go. Hi, Cody, it’s me. Yes, I told him how shy you are and how you’ve been hurt before and would like to go slow, but… what he said… No, I really shouldn’t. Well, I suppose what you need to know.”
Ooops, forgot the pertinent details.
250 words from
“Your family has a way of finding trouble, doesn’t it?” Pan has the decency to not sound too amused, but her fascination is harder to hide. She shifts her weight from foot to foot, crossing her arms as her eyes drift from where the wraith was to where I now lie on the ground, trying to catch my breath.
“Unfortunately.” I close my eyes, wishing she didn’t have to come to my rescue, but grateful I’m not dead. Not yet, anyway. “How do you always find me?”
“You say that like you’ve made any effort to lay low.” Pan walks over, looking down at me. “Unlike your brother.”
At the mention of Adwin, she looks away and I scramble to my feet.
“Have you seen him?”
“No…” She sighs. “But I do know what he’s up to. I specifically told you to keep him from seeking Lexia out.” Pan scolds me like I’m an unruly child. Like I’m the one breaking the rules.
“I tried.” I brush the dirt off. “Short of killing him there was nothing I could do.” When I look at her, apprehension clouds her eyes. She’s afraid. What could a Reaper have to fear? “You said it was impossible anyway.”
She doesn’t respond.
“I suppose…what you need to know…” She struggles to form a complete thought. “It’s not that impossible.” Pan runs a hand through her hair, frustrated.
“What does that even mean?”
“That we need to find your brother and make him stop.”
250 nanowrimo words
It is another weighty morning. Dark clouds press down like a cold iron on the skin of the earth. The sun, if it is even there, has yet to show its face.
“It’s time to leave,” Clarissa says.
I turn away from the living room window and look over at her. She is standing by the front door, next to the child, holding his hand with one of her hands, his little suitcase with the other.
“I’m still willing to drive you,” I repeat for the umpteenth time.
“We’ve been through that. It doesn’t help to keep on about it.”
She is right. However, that doesn’t stop me from staking my claim. I suppose what you need to know, in case you hadn’t guessed, is that the child is hers and not mine. In so many ways though, I am his father. One of them, anyways. But not by blood. My blood does not, will not ever flow in him.
This is not the time to bicker. He does not need to witness another bout between the adults in his life.
How many times has he born witness to a barrage of domestic artillery fire?
What shrapnel has shaped him?
He is so quiet these days. Each visit and each leave taking seems to add another tumor of sorrow on his small shoulders.
“I’m sorry. Hey kiddo, give me one more hug.”
Their hands part and he walks slowly to me.
And then they’re gone.
This meeting wasn’t going well. Elena’s supervisor was all up in arms about sending a young girl to live on a ranch with a single man. Except Pops was an experienced foster parent, and he’d housed both boys and girls on an emergency basis since his wife had died. She watched him and the girl on the computer monitor.
“You gotta trust someone,” Pops said.
The girl turned stubborn and remained silent.
“You don’t wanna go to juvie, hon. Whoever you’re afraid of can get to you there.”
Round, frightened eyes fixed on him and Elena’s heart lurched.
“Stayin’ with me out in the sticks? Be harder for them to find you, right?”
Elena held her breath. Was Pops actually getting through?
The girl looked undecided, but she eventually whispered, “I suppose.”
“What you need to know about me, hon, is that I don’t lie. I’ll always tell you the truth. If I say I can keep you safe, and help you find your way, I will. Thing is, you need to respect me enough to do the same.”
“I’m not a runaway.”
Elena almost missed what the girl said but Pops heard it loud and clear. A muscle ticked along his tightened jaw. “Things bad for you at home?”
“They took me. The Hell Dogs.”
Pops stiffened and Elena could tell he fought his emotions. “Okay, baby girl. Will you tell me your name?”
He again got big eyes, and one word—her name. “Hope.”
250 Fighting for Elena #NaNoWriMo #WIP words
The door clattered as the bolt slid across the frame, and swung open with a low-pitched squeak. The psychiatrist entered the padded cell and paced around as his patient sat with his back to the wall.
“I suppose what you need to know,” the doctor declared, “is that you’re still a complete and total plonker.”
“That’s as harsh as the lighting in this cell. Is there a dimmer switch?” the patient said.
“You need to have a breakdown in order to have a breakthrough. You’ve yet to have that breakdown. I haven’t seen any change in demeanour; you’re still the same grumpy old asshole you’ve always been. You completely lack any sense of humility.”
“Ufff,” said the patient. “You’re a sadist. I don’t want to have a breakdown, thanks.”
“No one expects you to,” the psychiatrist replied. He raised his eyebrows. “Except me.”
“You’re a sick man yourself then. Deluded. What does keeping me here achieve, exactly?”
“You’re here because you burned my car out.”
“Prevents you from working. If I could stop you working even half a day, it would mean that fewer people would suffer.”
“You didn’t stop me working, though. Not even for an hour. I got to work on my bicycle. I only live three miles from the hospital, as you have somehow discovered. All you’ve done is driven up my motor insurance. And I can’t sue you because you’ll plead insanity.”
The patient laughed.
“Trust me,” he said. “I won’t.”
And he didn’t.
250 words @ragtaggiggagon
“Who are you?” The man that stood before Death wasn’t entirely man. For starters he had folded out of darkness on his drop into Embermyst — Death’s realm, where no one living should ever be able to reach.
Cold, dark eyes appraised him. “The who doesn’t matter.”
Death frowned. Of course it mattered! “Who are you and how have you gotten here?” It became his turn to scrutinize the man dressed in dark clothing, a black cloak covering most of it. White scars crawled down one side of his face like an animal’s slash. An otherworldly air rested about him, and he reeked of superiority and ego. “You are a god, but no god I recognize.”
“I suppose what you need to know is yes, I am thee god, and no, you shouldn’t recognize me.” His deep voice came across as haughty. “It doesn’t matter how I reached this…” A sense of admiration crossed his features as he looked about the twisted, desolate, and fog covered forest. “Lovely place. All you need to know on who I am is that I am the answer to your questions.”
If Death had any lips they would’ve drawn into a thin line beneath the darkness of his hood. “You are my answers? You’re a necromancer?”
“In so many words. I control flesh and bone, feather and fur, scale and leathery hide.” Pride coated his words with a wide grin. “Flesh and bone is what you are missing, is it not, Reaper?”
248 #WiP #Embermyst #NaNoWriMo words
He opened the door with a grin, ready to chastise Nathan for forgetting his keys. How could a man be so smart and yet—
“Found you.” The sing-song voice shut down every teasing thought in Yuri’s head.
No, no, no. You can’t be here. How are you here?
“What the hell is this?” Anger edged his voice, the words a raspy growl.
“I love you.” Song Beomsoo blinked at him, as though surprised by the lack of welcome. “You know that.”
“You do insist on calling it that.” He crossed his arms, glaring. “So, yeah. I suppose.”
“What you need to know—you must know, it’s so obvious—is you’re too good for this world.” Madness seemed to expand in Beomsoo’s eyes with his dilating pupils. “The gods will forgive all I’ve done to bring you home to them.”
“All you’ve done?” The words chilled Yuri to the bone. “What did you do?”
“They tried to keep me from you.”
Between the ground floor and here, how many had tried—and failed—to turn Beomsoo away?
“You hurt people? Innocent people?” Fear shifted into rage, purifying and so very welcome. Yuri was done hiding from this bastard. He shoved at Beomsoo’s chest, sending the man stumbling back. “And what the fuck do you mean, bring me home, huh? I’m not nearly done living yet.”
He lunged, throwing a wide right hook that slammed into Beomsoo’s cheek.
“The only part of this world I’m done with is you, you crazy fuck.”
250 WItS WIP words
The phone rang again. The caller’s voice was faint and almost overcome by the noise of wind in the background.
“Suicide Hotline,” Carly said. “You need to speak louder. I’m having problems making out what you’re saying. Maybe if you cup the microphone with your hand, you’ll be clearer.”
The caller tried again. This time her words were more distinct, and Carly could understand some of what it was she was saying. The words ‘jump’ and ‘worthless’ caught her attention the most, standing out boldly against the white noise.
“You need help, I suppose. What you need to know is that you’ll be doing something honourable. Making a sacrifice for the greater good. You should be proud of yourself: there are so few people who’re prepared to give up their share of the limited resources we have. Our community salutes you, caller. You’re a true patriot.”
The caller spoke once more. She apologised to her family. She murmured a brief farewell to a short list of names, most of them outside her community group. Carly recognised one as a minor celebrity, someone the caller would never have met. The end of lifers often did that; it was as though they could forge a relationship by just mentioning another person’s name. She knew it for a sham, but the other listeners might not. The audience could be fooled – besides, what did it matter if they made someone believe them for a moment? They’d never speak of it again…
248 last words ~ twothirdsrasta.blogspot.com
The Meaning of Life
“When you have been wronged and feel like dragging yourself through the mud to increase the pain, the strongest and most noble thing you can do is to resist the temptation.”
Her lifelong mantra, acquired as a homeless child casually discarded on the streets of Seattle, had long been indelibly stamped on the inside of her eyelids. Just to make sure she remembered the message, she had had it graphically illuminated in a garish tattoo inscribed on her neck using the bold neon colors she always favored, using a sans serif font she had designed herself. Then, to make doubly positive, it was forcibly carved on her forehead above her brow ridge, visible to no one but her, and then only when she brushed aside the brown tendrils of her bangs.
The gun she discovered quite by accident while foraging for food in the rusty green dumpster behind Fleming’s Steakhouse, provided a sparkling hope of deliverance. Hard, gray, cold deliverance.
And freedom. Complete freedom, total and immediate.
Conveniently, there was a bullet too.
She loaded the pistol and sat in the cool of shadows, anonymous but ready for action.
Engage finger, pull trigger.
Never mind the taste, the feel. Focus on the outcome. Gotta-get-out-of-here-final-desperation-time-moment. Don’t think, ACT! NOW! YOU CAN DO THIS! DO IT!
I suppose what you need to know is that it worked.
The craggy highlands were no place for the silver mule to give her human difficulties. Talbruk approached the dark-haired beauty in the plain wool dress.
“May I be of assistance? You won’t get your animal to the next stable before moonrise at this rate.”
The human glanced appraisingly at the hobgoblin in scarred leather armor, then sighed heavily and stepped aside.
“Yes, please. Sable isn’t usually like this.”
By stepping between the woman and her mule, Talbruk was able to encourage the creature to resume pulling her cart.
“I encountered a great beast on this road last night,” Talbruk confided.
The woman cast her eyes down in somber awareness of her circumstances.
“I suppose what you need to know,” he passed her his personal totem. “Is with practice, the changes can be controlled.”
133 D&D related words
“I suppose what you need to know is that this couple is destined to be together,” St. Peter explained.
“If that’s so then why do they need me?” I asked.
“Do you think that it’s easy that God just waves a wand and everything gets done? Everyone is a cog in his wheelhouse.”
“They don’t live or work near each other.”
“Someone as intelligent as you will think of something.”
“Being an angel is new to me.”
“So peer into the screen and see their lives span out before you.”
I obeyed and saw Clarice grow up in front of me. She was a sweet child full of love and kindness. She deserved a lifetime of happiness but as I watched I saw her lose first her mother, then her sister, then her father to illness; an orphan at eighteen. She couldn’t afford the course she wanted so she took secretarial classes.
I looked again and saw Franklin grow up in wealth and privilege yet he was kind and loving. He was perfect for Clarice. His company was seeking and administrative assistant something Clarice had done for years. All I had to do was get Clarice to want to move to California and to get Franklin to interview her personally.
I whispered in their ears for a week and finally the two did what I wanted. I achieved God’s will the two are getting married next week; I’m off to my next job wish me luck.
#ThursThreads Week 387 is now CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who wrote this week and I hope to catch you next week.